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Archive for December 27th, 2013

Roaming Rosie

Franklin is my favorite turtle.  🙂

I read this book with my girls all the time.  The rhythm is fantastic, so it’s especially great at bedtime.

It’s about being brave, it’s about problem solving, and it’s about family.  A great combination.  But mostly, kids just find it fun and entertaining.  Can’t beat that.  🙂

Franklin recently celebrated his 25th anniversary.  You can find him here.

Enjoy!

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My Best Christmas Gifts: The Inventive Blogger Award and The Blog Of The year 2013 Award…

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpegdoncharisma-org-the-inventive-blogger-award (1)

There are all sorts of Christmas gifts. Getting awards as a blogger is indeed a special one because it gives me the opportunity to share it with all the wonderful people from All countries  across the world who have taken out time and resources to visit, read, comment, follow, reblog and make useful criticisms of my blog/posts. I really appreciate you all :) Thus, I am dedicating my gifts/awards, The Inventive Blogger Award and The Blog Of The year 2013 Award to you all. Thanks a lot for the inspiration and encouragement :)

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Logout Button

Being an avid fan of both blogging and reading blogs, I think it is important to address the psychological challenges bloggers can face. All is not always rosy in Blogger Land. Believe it or not, it is possible to become addicted to this social medium. In this article I examine some of the myths, behaviors, personality characteristics, and red flags of a blogging addiction.

Here are some common myths about bloggers and addiction.

  • I can’t be addicted to blogging because it isn’t a mind-altering chemical.
  • I am employed, and only blog when I am not busy with my job, although I might blog at work if I have time.
  • I only blog on important topics – well, important topics to me.
  • I only blog to make a difference in people’s lives. If I don’t do it, who will?
  • I can stop blogging anytime I want. I just don’t want to stop. This is not hurting me or anyone else.
  • I am not addicted, that is a term for alcoholics and substance abusers – coke heads, meth addicts. Blogging isn’t a drug.
  • I still go to work every day and it doesn’t count if I work on my blog(s) during my downtime or check the website(s) for comments.
  • I hardly ever use a sick day to stay home and blog or to catch up on errands that didn’t get completed because of blogging.

Do you recognize yourself in any of those?

There are also some behaviors that have been identified as common in addictive personalities.  With respect to blogging, these include:

  • Denying there is an issue with blogging. Denial is the ability to overlook negative consequences so as to be able to justify continuing to engage in a behavior. There might be an awareness that the blogging is creating turmoil, but the desire to blog is stronger than the pressure to stop. Loss of control, being unable to stop the behavior, and continuing to engage in the behavior regardless of adverse consequences are some of the most definitive features of addiction.
  • Lying about the time spent engaged in “blogging behaviors.”
  • Losing track of time and being late for events, appointments, and celebrations because of blogging.
  • Changes in sleep habits and patterns because of blogging or needing to respond to comments. Getting up in the middle or the night or very early before going to work to check the blog, write the blog, or make comments.
  • Feeling guilty or confused about the effect blogging is having on your life.
  • Disbelief that it is possible to be addicted to blogging.
  • Financial problems due to blogging—such as not paying bills on time because of being consumed by blogging.

Not all of these may apply, but if more than two describe you and your current blogging lifestyle it could be a red flag that blogging is impacting your life in a negative manner.

To sort this out, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you ever lost time from work because of blogging?
  • Does blogging create problems for you with other people in your life?
  • Do you blog because you feel shy and uncomfortable around others?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about blogging?
  • Have you ever argued with someone significant in your life about blogging and the time constraints involved?
  • Are you more careless in other areas of your life because of blogging?
  • Have you lost interest in other areas of your life since beginning to blog?
  • Do you blog to escape anything in your life?
  • Do you use blogging as a replacement for social interactions in the real world?
  • Do you feel compelled to blog and then feel a sense of elation once the blog entry is published – yet the high is short-lived and you feel compelled to begin again?
  • Do you feel restless if you do not blog?

If you answered “Yes” to two or more of those questions, blogging could be taking over your life.

Finally, let’s consider the characteristics of an addictive personality in general.

  • Impatience with self and others.
  • Anxiety in an exaggerated form. It is normal to feel anxious, but in addicts it is constant and chronic. Using the substance of choice, whether it be alcohol, substances, or the Internet, brings momentary relief.
  • Grandiosity – feelings of deep worthlessness and low self-esteem covered by haughtiness or pretending to “have It all together.”
  • Perfectionism – setting impossible and improbable goals for oneself. Perceived failures result in guilt and self-deprecation.
  • Rationalizations – Addicts of any sort are pros at this. Finding justifications for doing what one wants and making it all seem reasonable and plausible.
  • Isolation – Blogging is so consuming that it prohibits you from forming deep and lasting relationships outside the Internet world. You becomes a loner in the real world.
  • Sensitivity – to criticisms from others related to blogging behaviors.
  • Impulsivity – Having a great idea for a blog post and feeling the need to address it and write about it immediately. Becoming irritated if you are unable to blog when the idea presents itself.
  • Dependence – A strong dependence on others’ reactions and responses to what was posted. A need to be affirmed.

Discussing blogging as an addiction may seem odd, but it is possible to become addicted to anything. Addiction is addiction is addiction, regardless of the substance of choice. Can you identify with much of what has been written in this piece? A “Yes” may indicate a need to take a hiatus from the blogosphere for a time. If you are unable to stop blogging, then talking to a professional about this compulsion may be helpful. Underneath an addiction is a whole host of unresolved issues. The addiction just momentarily medicates the pain.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ?

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friends are like Flowers

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new-years-resolutions
Here comes the New Year
And its time to make resolutions
For I promise to be sincere
And bring in me a revolution

In class I’ll talk less
In studies I’ll surely progress
All my lies I’ll confess
I’ll go to play with egress

To my friends I’ll be kind
Have my character refined
To a helper of mankind
With a sound mind

I’ll follow my teacher’s advice
Regularly I’ll exercise
My mother I’ll idolize
Beyond doubt I’ll civilize

These are my resolutions
To bring in me an evolution
To follow them I’ll try my best
Until then I’ll no

Aditya Chattopadhyay

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faithmummy

It’s the day after Christmas. My house is chaos, the kids have been hyper and and we have all consumed far too much. Our stress levels at times have been off the scale and the parties feel like a distant memory already. Yet for parents like me so much about Christmas is just a reflection of real life all year round. Let me explain:

1. At Christmas time you spend a lot of time inviting people to, and attending parties.

As a special needs parent I spend much of the year inviting professionals to meetings and attending meetings and training courses. Other than parties specifically for special needs children we seldom get invited to other parties. Who wants a screaming, non verbal child with limited social skills at thier party, especially when he would think nothing of throwing all the party food all over the floor? And to get invites…

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Gail Cawley Showalter

Teenage girl rolling eyes with shoulder turned away from angry mother in background

Gail Cawley Showalter

“Mind your manners!” used to be a common phrase you would hear from parents. Lately this Tough Old Bird hears other things and sees a lack of common courtesy. See previous post: Teaching Manners in a Mannerless World

  • Teens back-talking parents and parents acting as if this is the norm.
  • Sarcasm on every popular sitcom on TV.
  • Children running in stores and seldom saying excuse me when they practically knock you over.
  • Children simply not learning proper language of good manners.
  • Bullying is so common it often makes the evening news with tragic results.

Whatever happened to common courtesy? I can tell you it isn’t common anymore.

It is courtesy that makes the day livable for many. All of us have challenges, some more than others. Have you noticed how a nice smile, or “Hello,” or simply a door held open makes you feel happier?

Children aren’t…

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WAUWAA

1. Sleep more.

I can hear your crazy laughing from here. Ok, so your little darlings might have something to say about this one, but what I mean is start taking the opportunity to sleep when you can. Take naps at the weekend or when you have childcare or when a sympathetic friend can watch the kids for an hour. Go to bed earlier, turn off the TV, leave the washing up for the morning and get as many zzzzzzs as you can! Everything’s easier to cope with when you have a little extra sleep.

2. Put down your phone.

The age of the smartphone is firmly here but sometimes those little devices take up our attention more than they should. Instead of fumbling for your phone camera to take a picture of your kiddo doing something cute, simply enjoy the moment and watch. Instead of browsing Facebook on the…

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ST LOUIS BY GINA

By Kelley Holland

You know your teens can be illogical, unreasonable, and occasionally malodorous, but isn’t it at least reasonable to assume they know the basics about money?

Apparently not. Surveys show that teens are failing at financial literacy. And while financial institutions like PricewaterhouseCoopers are investing significant resources in changing that, the problem is persisting.

From those in a position to know best — personal finance and business education teachers — here are some of the most gaping holes in teens’ money knowledge.

1. Bank account basics

“My students had no idea how to figure out online banking,” said Keith Newman, a personal finance teacher at Bodine High School for International Affairs in Philadelphia. Part of the problem, he said, is that there are no high-quality, up-to-date teaching tools to help students learn about bank accounts, so he is hoping to take his students to a bank to open accounts and…

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New Year's Resolutions

January 1 became the first day of the year in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar developed a new calendar, switching from a lunar one to a solar one. He named the first month of the Julian calendar after the two-faced god Janus. Janus could look back on the past year and look forward to the year ahead at the same time. The Romans exchanged New Year’s gifts that symbolized good fortune, such as branches from sacred trees and, later, coins imprinted with the likeness of Janus.

Although the date for the start of the New Year is not the same in every culture, the day is a time for making promises and for setting goals for the year ahead. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, about half of our population here in the United States makes resolutions each year. Popular New Year’s resolutions for Americans are: losing weight, exercising and giving up smoking.

The approach of a new year is also a good time to set some business resolutions. Think of 2014 as the year you can attain some new heights in your career. Here are six areas to examine. The specifics are up to you.

Here are 6 New Year’s Resolutions

Learn something new

American philosopher and writer Mortimer Adler once wrote, “The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.” Have you gotten stuck doing and thinking about the same things every day? Monotony can be the ruin of many a great mind.

How can you add some fresh thinking and energy to your workplace? Take an online course. Read a book. Sign up for a seminar. Ask a friend or co-worker to teach you a new skill.

Whether you choose something directly related to your business, only partly related or not related at all, learning something new will benefit you by adding a new dimension to your life. In addition, you will put yourself into contact with some new people. New people can mean new growth for your business.

Market your business better

It’s time to step up your social media and content marketing in 2014. Does your company have a blog? Post some fresh content each week that gets your message out.  Plan ways to increase your social media contacts.

If you have not already done so, work on developing your specific brand and create images and slogans that convey that brand to your intended audience. What strategies can you implement to increase traffic to your social media accounts? Contests? Promotions?

Expand your network.

Whatever your business is, try thinking about expanding your borders. What professional organizations can you join to make some new contacts? Is there a trade association that serves your industry? A membership can be invaluable in meeting colleagues and in spreading the word about your business.

Networking is about establishing relationships with other businesspeople who can benefit your career. You never know how these friendships will intertwine. Some can help you launch a new career down the road, and others can play a role as mentors as you get yourself established in your current career.

Give back to your community.

Make it a New Year’s resolution to get more involved with your community. What types of community issues interest you? The homeless?  Schools? The foster program? The library? Find a cause that matters to you, and give what you can to it.  Volunteer to serve on a committee, be a mentor to a young person, or coordinate that non-profit’s fundraiser. You’ll find that when you give back to the community, you will gain much yourself – in good will and in feeling good. Both results are good for your business.

Get organized.

Use the holiday time when things may have slowed down a bit at the office to get organized. Set a list of priorities for the coming year. Think of your main goals and put them into a time framework. Look at what needs to be accomplished when so that you can achieve your goals.

Try to be realistic in setting deadlines. Keep in mind your regular workload and current obligations as you add in any new responsibilities.

Create a Balance between Home and Work

Do you feel that when you are at home you are always thinking about what you need to do at work and when you are at work, you are daydreaming about being at home? To a certain extent, we all do that, but if you are feeling stress about not being in both places at the same time, it means something is out of whack.

According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow, who is best known for creating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we have a pyramid of needs that must be fulfilled in order for us to function well.  A career keeps us mentally stimulated and provides the income we need to pay our bills and to put food on the table. Home and family life give us love, security and companionship. According to Maslow, we need both of these aspects of our lives to be in balance in order to be healthy and productive.

Are you a workaholic? The year 2014 should include a planned vacation and plenty of other downtime during the workweek. Are you a procrastinator who needs to get more work done this year? It’s time for you to set and keep a consistent work schedule.

The more specific you are in making a New Year’s resolution, the more likely you are to keep it, experts have found. For example, if we use the popular losing weight resolution, it’s a good idea to put that broad category into manageable steps. Rather than the wide goal “I will get more exercise” try the specific goal “I will walk to and from the train station three times a week.”

Putting this into the workplace scenario, go back over the previous suggestions and select one. Next choose your first step, such as signing up for a new course or reading a new business book. You’ll find that as you accomplish one step, you will feel energized and then you will be ready to take the next one.

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